Former Maryland point guard Pe’Shon Howard, who transferred home to be closer to his sick grandmother, was granted a legislative relief waiver by the NCAA and is eligible to play immediately at the University of Southern California.
The Trojans, led by first-year Coach Andy Enfield (formerly of Florida Gulf Coast), formally announced Howard’s addition on Monday evening.
“We are happy that Pe’Shon will be able to spend time with his grandmother who helped raise him here in Los Angeles,” Enfield said in a news release. “On the court, Pe’Shon will provide leadership and we expect him to have a terrific senior season.”
Over breakfast in mid-July, just beyond the runways of Los Angeles International Airport, Howard discussed moving back to his native city and the comforts of home. At the time, he had moved into apartment across the street from USC’s basketball arena and was working out there regularly with his future teammates. The Trojans declined comment, an indication they were waiting for the NCAA’s ruling before announcing anything.
That moment came Monday, and makes Howard the fourth incoming transfer for USC this offseason. Former VCU center D.J. Haley will play one year as a graduate student, while sophomores Katin Reinhardt (UNLV) and Darion Clark (Charlotte) will sit out the year per NCAA rules.
Howard’s grandmother is battling cancer, and he wanted to help her through the fight. So he takes her to see doctors and then dinner after the appointments.
“It wasn’t that pleasant for either one of us, the conditions and the circumstances,” Bill Howard, Pe’Shon’s grandfather, said at the time.
This should bring some joy. Howard had a rocky junior season at Maryland. He was suspended for the biggest regular season game, a court-storming celebration over Duke. His Twitter account became a bull’s-eye, his on-court struggles emblematic of the team’s own weaknesses. Yet Howard finished with a strong postseason stretch, particularly in the ACC tournament, that seemed to reassure the general fanbase he would return.
In July, Howard said he moved to Los Angeles for a new start, in school, with family and on the court. But really, in fact, it’s the end. One more season, back at home.
The Trojans open against Utah State on Nov. 8. Around Thanksgiving, nearly four months after his former teammates did so, Howard will play in the Bahamas in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a field that includes two teams Maryland faced last season: Iowa and Wake Forest.